Advice on: Machloket

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Rav Berland’s advice on: Machloket

Continuing our translation of Etzot HaNachal, a compendium of advice drawn from the teachings of Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita, on Likutey Moharan.

  • A person can find problems and flaws in another person that never happened, and don’t even exist.

He only imagined it’s thus. But his friend is completely innocent.

  • In every generation, those people who go against the Tzaddik, and who desecrate the name of the Tzaddik, are called the ‘true believers’ and the ‘chassidim’[1]. Just like it was with the sin of the meraglim (spies).
  • When a person nullifies himself to the community, the light of Ain Sof (the infinite light) descends upon him.

He couldn’t receive this light by doing any other type of spiritual work.

  • The more a person endeavors to create an everlasting spiritual home, the more ‘at home’ he will be with Rabbenu (Rebbe Nachman).

Rabbenu equates to an everlasting spiritual home. When Rebbe Nachman returned from Eretz Yisrael, he said to his followers: “I’ve brought you a present. It’s called machloket (conflict).” Because a person can only acquire an eternal spiritual home via machloket.

Every Tzaddik had to go through a period of conflict and opposition, and afterwards they made peace with him. They saw that, behold! This Tzaddik actually really is a Tzaddik! And his followers are OK, and it’s a real shame that we opposed him.

But, it’s not like that with Rabbenu.

There will be opposition to Rebbe Nachman until the very last day, until the coming of Moshiach. The machloket won’t stop until geula (redemption) comes. Why?

Because Rabbenu’s spiritual edifice is eternal.

And every ‘house’ in Israel will need to go and join themselves to the light of this edifice.

  • The more deeply a person delves into the words of Rabbenu, the more they will be caught up in machloket (conflict and arguments), and the more criticism and rebuke they will experience.

All of this happens because we need to build an eternal house, a more real home. Therefore, we need to bring bigger and stronger stones for this.[2]

  • A person needs to always know to never pay attention to anyone else.

Don’t pay attention to other people! Don’t let them throw you! Don’t think badly of anyone else!

Always think, ‘Hashem want me to do this thing, so I’m going to do it. And if I’m in any doubt about what I’m doing, then I will do hitbodedut (talking to God in our own words), and think it through over and over again. If I feel it’s not good, then I’ll stop it. But I will never have any reason to get angry at anyone else.’

[1] I.e. They pretend that they are only going against the True Tzaddik for totally holy reasons.

[2] In Tzaddik, #564, Rebbe Nachman taught: Emuna is the last in the chain of all the spiritual qualities. Yet it is precisely through emuna that one attains all the other levels, for emuna is ‘the stone which the builders rejected’, which ‘became the cornerstone’ (Psalms 118:22).

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